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It was summer and as any native of Rome, Italy would testify -- summers are downright hot and sweaty in this ancient city. However, thanks to the wisdom of ancient Roman geniuses -- safe and free drinking fountains abound throughout Rome, Italy and are steeped in profound history.
Now, the Italians call the water fountains "nasoni" - these curious looking cast iron bubblers speak to the practical nature of the Italian people, who not only appreciate all 2500 of them in Rome -- but are smart enough to bristle at the very thought of paying for ice cold pure drinking water. Why would they?
The water fountains came by their curious name of "Nasone" (pronounced "na-soh-nay") which translates to Big Nose - which upon seeing many of them is the obvious conclusion, when it comes to accurate description. However, not all Nasone have big noses.
For our entourage, a family of six - our summer vacation in Italy, this miracle of ancient Roman aqueduct engineering was indeed miraculous and most welcomed om the sweltering heat, Even by Florida standards it was a hot summer. Long live "La Regina dell'aqua -- the Queen of Water -- was certainly the motto of the vacation.
Spotting a Nasone became almost a quest and a sport among the two youngest members of our little group. Since they don't always look like the most recognizable "stand pipes" water fountains. Others are called, "fontanelle," found in walls all around the city of Rome. Many of the most decorative, are among the oldest, who often take on individual magical and mythical forms -- such as an odd dragon at the Via della Conciliazione. There's even a sunken boat; a sarcophagus coffin; a wine casket; and an Ancient God drooling into a bathtub.
As we hunted for relief from the summer heat, the quest for the oldest and most famous "fontanelle" was won by the youngest in our family, or so she claimed -- when she spotted the red-headed she-wolf head in the Giardino degli Aranci (the Garden of the Orange Tree) on Aventine Hill. Racing her young aunt to it, they both reveled in the same claim "I won" the she-wolf contest taking turns cooling off by dunking the other's head in it.
If you are taking a trip to Rome on your Italian cruise vacation, be sure sure to download on your smartphone, the app "I Nasoni de Roma." You won't be disappointed. And while you are searching for the Nasone or Fontanelle -- you'll soon discover so many off-the-beaten path delights that your trip to Italy will indeed filled with unforgetable memories.
Note: We also recommend the "Black Hotel" - - It's a sleek modern four star hotel just minutes away from St, Peter's Basilica. It has a unique and fantastic pool, hot tub, gym, sauna, and onsite restaurant (Edon) and bar (La Luna). With its central location there's even a nearby grocery market sure to delight your culinary senses.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy - Nasoni Paradise